The Intern Vol. 2

By: Brooke Cumberland

My mind is spinning on last night’s events. Almost being caught. Bentley’s darker, more dominant side. A side I should’ve expected.

I was sure he had passed out for good. I hadn’t expected him to see me, and I especially hadn’t expected him to react the way he did—aggressive and vulnerable. Two very different emotions, but I knew it was what drove him, and I willingly gave him anything he asked for.

“You look like death,” Simon says casually as he leant against the locker next to me.

I’m sore, exhausted, and not in the mood for his shit. “Thanks, asshole. You always know how to make a girl feel good.”

He narrows his eyebrow at me. “Would you prefer I tell you or some jackass that you hate?”

“I prefer you say nothing at all.”

He puts his hands up in surrender. “So, where the hell have you been lately? Every time I call you, it goes straight to voice mail.”

“Oh, my bad. Just shit going on at home. You know... the usual.” I shrug nonchalantly so he doesn’t question me. He’s well aware of the love-hate relationship I have with my mom, but I don’t meet his stare just in case he tries to break me of the truth.

“Have you seen Cora?”

“She’s in the locker room las—” He clears his throat as his face turns an interesting shade of red. “She’s probably in the gym or something.”

I examine his disheveled look—messy, tousled locks, red scratches on his biceps, wrinkled shirt—all the signs of a heated make out session.

I smirk as I gaze down his body and back up to meet his suspicious eyes.

I take a mental note to drill Cora for details later. She’ll never admit it was Simon, but she’ll at least tell me about some guy she hooked up with—even if she lies about who it was.

“Okay, I’ll just catch up with her later then.” I grab my pre-calculus book and slam my locker shut. “Let’s hang out next week, okay?”

He nods in agreement as we walk to our next class. I hate deceiving Simon, but I have no choice if I want to keep this secret a secret.

* * *

After school, I dig through my closet for something to wear at my internship tomorrow. I have to keep up my appearance for the other journalists that are also there, yet I want to look nice for Bentley.

Butterflies rise in my stomach as I think about him. A queasy combination of anxiety and fear build up as I think about being at work with him all day. Would we go back to boss and intern or would he treat me differently now?

However, as much as I want him, I want the truth about my dad more.

I shuffle through my closet and come across an old sweater I had forgotten was stashed in here—a purple one. It’s been my favorite color ever since I was a kid. I don’t even know why I still have it. It hasn’t fit me in years. It brings me back to my dad immediately. Soon, the tears well in my eyes as I rub my thumb and forefinger over the fabric.

“How’s it going, Princess?” my dad asked. I was sitting on my bed with my knees pressed against my chest, my head dug into the gap, as the tears streamed out.

He sat down next to me and rubbed my back until I calmed down enough to speak.

I wiped the tears off my cheeks and cleared my throat before speaking. “Today was the third grade spelling bee,” I choked.

He sensed my disappointment immediately and wrapped his arms around me.

“What happened?”

“I was doing really good,” I started to explain. “But then I guess I got nervous and froze up. I spelled a really easy word wrong and lost.”

It might not have been a big deal to most kids my age, but I had studied day and night on that list of words. I was prepared.

“I even wore my lucky sweater.” I look down at my favorite purple sweater.

I could feel my dad’s body tense around me. He wasn’t sure what to say to console me. I wasn’t the easiest person to console.

“You’re smart, Cecilia,” he began. I turned and looked up at him. His eyes lit up and a smile crept on his face. And soon, I was smiling with him. “You’re the smartest girl I know. Don’t let one mistake keep you from taking on the world.”

“You really think so?”

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